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080311FastFoodFreedom

080311FastFoodFreedom - August 2 2011 8:10 pm New York...

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August 2, 2011, 8:10 pm New York Times Can Big Food Regulate Itself? Fat Chance By MARK BITTMAN Tags: advertising , children , Food , health , marketing , nutrition Life would be so much easier if we could only set our own guidelines. You could define the average weight as 10 pounds higher than your own and, voilà, no more obesity! You could raise the speed limit to 90 miles per hour and never worry about a ticket. You could call a cholesterol level of 250 “normal” and celebrate with a bag of fried pork rinds. (Y ou could even claim that cutting government spending would increase employment, but that might be going too far.) You could certainly turn junk food into something “healthy.” A Happy Meal with a piece of apple is still a box of branded, overpriced junk food. That’s what the food industry is doing. Back in May I wrote about the voluntary guidelines for marketing junk food to kids developed by an interagency group headed by the Federal Trade Commission. These non-binding suggestions ask that the industry market real food to kids instead of the junk they so famously favor selling. But the industry argues that the recommendations are effectively mandatory because non-compliance would lead to retaliation and eliminate all food advertising to adolescents, as well as 74,000 jobs.
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